The Jane Goodall Institute

  • Organization Jane Goodall Institute
  • Main Website URL
  • AuthorDr. Lilian Pintea, Vice President Conservation Science
  • Tools Used Google Earth, Google Maps, Open Data Kit
*Note: The Jane Goodall Institute does not endorse handling or interfering with wild chimpanzees.
"The information that the forest monitors are collecting is not just useful for the village. It's actually contributing toward a global effort of monitoring forests and natural resources around the world."

—Dr. Lilian Pintea, Vice President of Conservation Science, JGI

The goal of the Jane Goodall Institute is to preserve African great apes and their habitats, with an emphasis on chimpanzees. To be effective, conservation projects require the best science and data available to design, implement, measure, and monitor the success of conservation actions. We also must engage stakeholders in participatory and transparent ways -- from local communities to government authorities. The Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) has been using Google mapping tools for many years to do just that.

How they did it

In 2006, the Jane Goodall Institute launched our Gombe Chimpanzee Blog in 2006 with daily updates from field researcher Emily Wroblewski. Her entries provided a glimpse of chimpanzee field research and an ongoing view of the research program begun by Jane Goodall in 1960. Since then, the blog is no longer supported, but we have turned our attention to other Google mapping tools to help our work in chimpanzee conservation.

Blog entry by research scientist Emily Wroblewski

We have chosen to use Google Earth because it presented us with an unprecedented way to bring our potential donors to the places in the world where we work. Google Earth gave us a canvas on which we can vividly illustrate disappearing habitats and the effects of poverty, including deforestation and unsustainable farming -- all with the click of a mouse.

"I've been to Gombe, and this weblog is the next best thing to being there. Gombe is a special place to Jane and the staff of JGI, and we are delighted we can share it 'close-up' with the world at large thanks to Google Earth and our conservation scientists"

-- Bill Johnston, President, JGI


Following the interest and excitement of the Gombe Chimpanzee Blog in Google Earth and the Google Earth narrated tour, the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) has been using Open Data Kit (ODK), smartphones, tablets and cloud technology to empower local communities to better manage and monitor their forests. One of these programes includes our USAID Gombe-Masito-Ugalla REDD Program in Tanzania to help protect sensitive forest habitat where chimpanzees live from further deforestation. The project conserves over 70,000 hectares and allows communities to participate in REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and environmental Degradation). In western Tanzania, with support from USAID, JGI is developing skills, knowledge, ownership, and ability to manage land use and monitor Village Forest Reserves using ODK and smartphones in 49 villages. In Uganda and Tanzania, JGI is using ODK and Android tablets to conduct detail inventory and mapping of private forest owners and village forest monitoring to support country's preparedness for REDD. In partnership with Woods Hole Research Center and support of Norwegian Government, JGI has been applying Google Earth Engine technology to build capacity in Tanzania for monitoring biomass and carbon in dry tropical forests and Miombo woodlands.

"Local communities will be able to interact directly with the global carbon marketplace and demonstrate unequivocally the concrete benefits of their efforts to protect the forest. As a result, local information will directly inform and influence national and global decisions regarding climate change."

-- Dr. Lilian Pintea, Director of Conservation Science, JGI

JGI team members using Google Earth during a training for collecting data on Android mobile devices with Open Data Kit.